Florence is simply beautiful. Entirely quintessentially Tuscan. The burnt orange, umber and yellowed buildings framed by the Byzantine styled basillica and the grey and carerra white marble statues decorating the piazzas make me feel like Sophia Loren may walk out a shop nearby any moment.
Our first day we arrived late and hungry. Checking into our hotel we ducked across the street to a little local place for a pizza and calzone with a bottle of chianti. Seriously good.
Our official first full day we got up early, stole a croissant from the breakfast buffet and headed to the uffuzi gallery. For those who don’t know and for when I can’t remember this is the gallery housing the private collection of the Medici Family. The main galley is filled with a huge collection of ancient Roman busts and sculptures which are incredible. The lower galleries are full of masterworks that frankly I thought were even more amazing. This included The Birth of Venus a piece I have always wanted to see in real life.
The main plaza at the entry of the museum is also amazing hosting its own collection of gorgeous sculpture including a copy of Michaelangelo’s David. The quantity and quality of the art in this city is simply indescribable and you’ll just have to come here yourself.
We spent the rest of the day wandering the city and seeing all the top sites like Ponte Vecchio, churches etc… Again all gorgeous.
My afternoon highlight was a trip to the oldest operating pharmacy where they sell what is basically the worlds first perfume among other things. Read about them here. The building was almost a museum in itself and it was really fun to walk through trying the lotions and potions. We made a few purchases and headed back to the hotel to dress for dinner. We ended up at a place which turned out to be the best food we have had on the trip so far. So good in fact we tried (unsuccessfully) to go back the next night and successfully our last night. Luke had rabbit stew which he declared was the best meal he has ever eaten and I had some very exceptional hand made ricotta and tarragon ravioli.
Our second full day saw us up early and on a 12 hour tour to Sienna, San Gremalino, and Pisa. We Aldo stopped for lunch at a Tuscany organic farm and winery which had an awesome view of the countryside . I’ll add photos when we’re back and I can upload them.
We climbed the tower of Pisa for a beautiful view, had gelato at the world gelato champion gelatoria and took at least 600 photos. For sinner we ended up at a very cheap and casual cafe that made only 3 types of wood fired pizza which we shared and was again fantastic. Plus the chef was beyond charming.
Day three in Florence was a day of recovery from our hardcore site-seeing/walking. We went to the hotel spa for a bit, wandered around town in the shops and other lesser seen spots and had an early tea before repacking to go to Rome.
This is definitely a place we would return to and stay for a leisurely week of drinking in .. Just about everything.